tv International Programming CSPAN June 6, 2011 12:00am-12:30am EDT
steven harper is returning to office after may's and election. it is a letter to a giant session. the current speech focuses on canada's economic plan. >> it is time for the throne speech from a conservative government for the first time in this century. ♪ >> it is a gorgeous day in the nation's capital. it seems like summer has finally arrived in central
canada. on may 2 this year, conservatives won their majority, the one they so dearly sought since 2004. they lost that one to the liberals and followed it with their own minorities in 2006 and 2008. now a majority government. in the next two minutes, we will find out in the speech from the throne what exactly the stephen harper government has planned for the next four years. before that starts, let's get an idea from parliament hill. let's start with evan solomon that joins us from the lobby outside the house of commons. what is the mood there? >> peter, i know you came back from vancouver where the mood is nuts. it's not quite playoff fever.
this is a hawker game -- a hockey game where the home team knows who will win. this is stephen harper's majority. there was a lot of trepidation before. today, when i talk to conservatives, they feel confident. they know the budget is going to pass. they know their agenda, which will include their law and order legislation, their budget. there will talk about the war in libya. the mood is confidence, have been as. -- happiness. the other side, new faces. they are busy studying the new mp faces. they are excited. there are lots of firsts. peter, there is a lot of excitement, but this day the home team feels it's got it in the bag. >> this is a two chamber kind of day, what the speech from
the throne. the house of commons will take their seats, but down the hall is where the speech is read, is in the senate. outside the senate today is rosemary barton. another chamber with a conservative majority. >> this is where the governor general or rides with the prime minister, we will see a lot of the new faces. they have never been part of that. it's exciting from that perspective. in terms of content, and nobody will be overly surprised from what they hear today. this is a prime minister that tends to slip a little tidbits into throne speech is to catch people off guard. we remember the potential change to the lyrics of "o canada" that backfired on them.
in terms of the broad strokes, we expect the speech will reflect what we heard throughout the election. no one is on the edge of their seats. it will be interesting because it is his first one, stylistically, how he goes about reading it, how he delivers it and enjoys it. we are told he will probably not show in the lawn. even though it is a beautiful day. he would drive up in the car. there were some people joking that maybe he could write up -- ride up in his bike, because he likes to bike. but that might take away from the ceremony. >> david johnson, the governor general, who just took over the governor general spot in october. not quite at his first anniversary at. it is his first speech from the throne. let's bring in our senior political correspondent.
he is on parliament hill at our bureau. terry, you've heard the run down from both rosie and evan in terms of what to expect. politically, how are you looking at this today? >> i think some people will be surprised by the wide gap between promise and deliver it, -- delivery, because i think a lot of people may not know that this is going to be an extremely minimalist session of parliament. although the speech may include a long laundry list, of items the government wants to achieve, we will not see it in the session because it is so short. they rise on the 23rd. they cut the budget on monday. that leaves 13 days to do parliamentary business. there is little they can accomplish until the fall. they will deal with the budget. will include the item about ending political subsidies to parties.
it will be a motion to extend the mission in libya. that is just about it. all the rest of what voters were led to expect during the long campaign, the crime package, and the rest of the items on the government's agenda, that will have to hold. the senate reform, democratic reform, more seats in the house will have to wait. they will not get very much a done in june. >> in terms of the broad strokes, the outline of many the things you mentioned, we are likely to hear those. >> absolutely, yes. those will be foretold in ringing tones in the throne speech. but just because it is and the speech, it does not mean that we will have to wait to see it happen. even just getting the budget passed, that is the number one item, of course, but that involves parliamentary procedure.
first reading, second reading,it does not happen that quickly. everyone will have a debate on it, as well as the debate on the speech itself. will be awhile before voters who voted conservative will see the results of what they voted for. >> it is interesting. when you think back to 1988 after the famous free trade election when the house was called , the speech of the throne from the second morning government, it was a fast -- the second mulroney speech, it was a fast one. >> this one we are expecting to be 30-40 minutes. i think the government will want to set a new tone. we are in charge, and we have stuff we want to do with our majority. and most importantly, we will be true to our pledges. they will do the laundry list.
they will give notice that they intend to carry out what they campaigned on, but not right now. >> back to you later. it was interesting. i have forgotten about what rosie mentioned a few minutes ago. everyone's in a -- every once in a while, there was a speech a couple of times ago when they talked about changing the words to the national anthem. that blew up in their face. that decision was reversed and we never heard about it again. we will look for the unexpected in the speech, as much as it is expected. let's check with evan. he has a guest with him. >> i was speaking with a former treasury board president. after the anthem surprise, and we have learned our lesson. consider the lyrics chipped in stone.
members one of the new of parliament from the conservative party. kelly leach. she won in simco-gray. it was helena george the rep there. here you are about to have your first speech. just your impressions know as it you are about to listen to your first speech from the throne. >> this is a truly humbling experience. i ran in the an election by taking the first steps into the house of commons yesterday. now today, the speech from the throne, you realize what an honor it is to be a member of parliament and we have a responsibility to the canadian public. the ambience and the excitement of it all is overwhelming. >> interesting. a lot of canadians saw the election of a new speaker. 32 years old. a lot of folks suggest we are
into a new phase. a new generation. you are part of that. what do you hope to bring to parliament? >> it is a new generation. i am hopeful from my professional skills that i can bring that decorum as we talked about at length yesterday. i would never want a mother to come to my clinic and feel uncomfortable about what i said. for me, this is a huge responsibility to my constituents, but also to the canadian public. >> i have to ask because you have done surgery. you are an orthopedic surgeon. the stakes are pretty darned high. what is your level of nerves as a member of parliament, versus your old profession it? i wondered, why would you leave that profession when you trained so hard for that? it is a tough job.
how do you compare those to experiences? >> my first day in the operating room was a little bit nervous and i felt the same way yesterday. i feel a little bit about that today. i spend most of my time in a room with that person asleep. we have a live audience here. >> nobody is sleeping now. >> i am looking forward to it. this is a historic event. with a strong, stable conservative majority government. we will put forth legislation to pass a budget just next week. the next phase of canada's economic action plan on jobs and growth. this is exciting. >> how do you reconcile, and some folks watching wonder -- it is a majority government, but nonetheless, only 40% of canadians have voted for conservatives? how do you government as a majority?
>> i guess another analogy for my practice is i learned about things because i listened. it is incumbent on all of us to listen to our constituents to make sure what they spoke to us about, whether it is creating jobs or making sure in the first 100 days, we pass the omnibus. we make sure they are dressed in the house of commons in the first few months. >> people are starting to file in. i see some of your colleagues from all different parties. the u.s. sends -- if you are parliamentary secretary -- do you have a sense. have you thought about your first question? >> i am just getting settled. i met with each of the ministers are report to and had great conversations.
i am looking forward to it. i am excited. i am looking forward to making sure i am sitting in my seat to pass the budget. to make sure our economic plan is put into action as soon as possible. >> kelly leach is a member of parliament, parliamentary secretary. we are about to get down to business as we wait to see if there are any surprises in the speech from the throne. >> interesting to hear from kelly leach, she is one of the top orthopedic surgeons in the country, if not in north america. her advice and counsel is sought by others in that profession. the progressive conservative party. she was a back roomer of some
stature. it is new to her in terms of being a member of parliament's. rosemary barton's got somebody very familiar to television audiences, but a new member of the senate. >> indeed. senator pamela waller. now a conservative senator here in the senate. this is the first majority throne speech. what do think that means to conservatives listening? >> i think it is a great moment in time and history for us. the thing i find fascinating and this speaks to the fact i have been around parliament hill way too long as you have a lot of members of parliament of all parties and all sides and members of the press gallery who have never covered a majority government. >> i am one of them. >> exactly. in the old days, this was the way things happen.
every once in awhile, you had a minority and that was a fluke. it will take a change of this strain for everybody to understand how a majority government functions. there is a different kind of relationship. i think overall what you will feel if anything is that sense of, i'll call it confidence which we can now move forward. these are the things that we have been telling you about in budgets and on the campaign trail. now we will see it in a coherent form. >> the majority government, there is a focus on policy. >> when you think about this, this is been frustrating not just for politicians, senators, journalists, but for everybody. nobody can make a plan. if the government is about to fall every 30 seconds, nobody can decide whether they can have dinner on tuesday night. i think you will see a coherent, predictable approach
to this. i think you'll see all the things the prime minister talked about dealing with the economic uncertainty which is still very real when we look at the circumstances south of the border and this is our late -- largest trading partner. we need to give the house in order. some of his "law and order" agenda and you'll see spelled out. of course, senate reform. issues are there. he has been so clear. now a chance to sell them. >> there has been talk about that there will be a western focus, but a lot of the things that were promised in the election -- gun registry, the things that will play to the party. let's talk about the wheat board issue. you are a senator from saskatchewan. is that something you perceive as something that needs to be done? the people tell you they want rid of it?
>> it this is a huge, big issue. we are living in a global economy. for farmers or producers, to be able to sell their crops when they need to to people who want it, we are asking our farmers to turn on a dime and say, this year, do not grow wheat, because a man from india is huge. -- grow lentils, because demand from india is huge. you have to be able to find markets and mechanisms to sell. there has to be way more flexibility. that is a western issue, but things like the gun registry. you go into any rural community banned and israel. -- and israel. -- it is real. at issue is important. i have had this discussion all of my life -- you go into any rural community. what a gun means to me, as i grew up with this, was to on the far make sure that if the wild animals came up to get your chickens, you could do with it. my father was a hunter. we ate what he shot.
we had deep freezers full of moves and elk. so it is a completely different mind-set and psychology. so that does have to be done. to deal with the "law and order" agenda so that people in urban settings feel like somebody is responding to crime and doing something about it. >> thank you for your time. i know it is not your first one. enjoy it, anyway. >> is a majority one, and it will be a great day. >> thanks, rosie. good to see the senator. i was flipping through a book of mine the other day, going through old photographs, and senator wallen mentioning that so many of us are used to the fact of minority governments, because we had a string of them for five-six years. before that, the norm was a majority government as we went through conservative and liberal government. the last time before the latest
round was 1979. there in my old photo album was a picture from the 1979 campaign. she had hair down to her waist. i have here. -- i had hair. so a lot of things have changed in those many years. let's take a quick check outside so you know what is going on. the guard of honor is getting ready, in place in front of the peace tower. digging it ready for the arrival -- getting ready for the arrival of the governor general which is scheduled -- and getting ready for the arrival of the governor general which is scheduled for 12 minutes away. back inside, evan has another guest with him. >> i am joined by robert chisholm, the mp for cold harbor. he is the international trade credit. good to see you. -- he is the international trade critic.
>> there is history for the mvp about to be made. give us a sense of how you're feeling? >> people are excited and humbled by the confidence canadians have shown. it is a big responsibility, but right from newbies like me to the old hats, we are filling up to the challenge. we have something to prove to canadians. we have to work hard to gain their confidence. that is what we do all over the next four years. >> a lot of very new people. some 19 year olds. some university students. a lot of controversy. how did that shape the dialogue, and how are those mp's adjusting? >> you have talked to them
probably more than i have. i impressed by the talent, by the maturity of the people from quebec, from across the country, for that matter. i think people are underestimating what's come out of this election in terms of the opposition benches. we have got some great women and men that are going to really show canadians exactly what it is like to be a good, official opposition, and perhaps a government in waiting. >> some folks might wonder, do not they all get together and meet? it is so new, that even you are learning faces and names. >> absolutely. i have been tending to business in my on consistency. i was up for our caucus meeting last week. i have been up for the last couple of days. i have not spent much time with the members of the caucus, but
i will over the days and weeks ahead. i am looking forward to it. there are some great folks there. i know i will learn a lot. >> you are of course the critic for international trade. ed bask is the conservative. there are fundamental issues. there is trade with india and latin america and trade agreement. what, for you, will be the key issues? >> well, the position has always been and is certain and my position as the official opposition going forward is we want to make sure the deals negotiated are in the best interest of canadians. that is our job is to examine legislation, examinees' agreements.
hopefully, we get to see some of the details before they actually get locked in. but our job is to make sure the deals are in the best interest of canada, whether that be the deal work done with your, whether that is -- with europe, panama. i am going to do the job, and i know my colleagues will be a big help to make sure we represent the interests of canadians, canadian workers, canadian business people to get a good deal. >> robert chisholm, a dartmouth co-harbor. you are about to step in. the doors behind me are opening. we are watching the mp's starting to stream inside. it is getting very busy here as the excitement builds a towards the speech from the throne. we await the arrival of the governor general.
>> that is mr. chisholm. has he heard anything from the other famous resident from their is? >> we are wondering about the great cold harbor resident, sydney crosby? is his concussion allowing him to practice? >> i'm so proud. i know most canadians are that sydney has taken time to make sure he is ready. to make sure he is healthy. this is a great signal for young hockey players across the country. do not fool around with these types of concussions. i played a lot of hockey and i got knocked around a few times. some people say i got knocked around a few too many. >> really, we cannot tell. >> but anyway, i am proud that
sidney crosby is taking his time. >> i know you cannot get hockey out of your head. david johnston was a former soccer player -- hockey player at his university. hockey will pervade this entire speech of the throne. >> david johnson was a very good hockey player, too. still a couple of minutes away from the governor general or writing. -- a riding. -- arriving. we have time to slip back inside the senate chamber with rosemary barton. >> i have the speech but i am not allowed to tell you anything about it, but here is a copy of it. i am here with the liberal leader in the senate. neither of us have seen a majority government. not in my job and not in your job. how will that change what you do? >> we will do what we do and that is look at legislation carefully. what it will give us a chance to do is conduct serious long- term studies on major issues.
so i'm looking forward to that part of it . >> but you no longer have a majority in the senate, neither. you will not prevent anything from happening and you do not have the power you had before. is that discouraging? >> no, that is not discouraging at all. we have a lot of good people. we have to measure success or failure differently. it is not a question of whether you win votes. it is with the influence public opinion. i think we have on issues like parliamentary form, senate reform, some of the things have said being to take root, and people are beginning to think about it. raisinga question of issues. we will continue to propose bills and vote against bills if we think they are wrong. we realize we do not have the
numbers to pass those amendments, unless we are able to persuade government members to join with us. >> one of the things we are expected to hear in the speech is about senator's term limits. >> is that an idea you support? >> i do support term limits. i always have. you have to see it in context. the difficulty is wet they talk about -- what they talk about. they have also talked about the election of senators. the minister was musing that we have a redistribution of senate seats. when you put all that together, you realize you are making changes to the institution of parliament and the constitution requires that when you do that, you consult with the provinces. that has been the missing piece, the unwillingness of the harbor government to discuss their plans openly with the provinces. and we hope they will do that.
with respect to term limits, we had a term limit bill before us before. we looked at it and said, we do not think you can do this by act of parliament. rather than take a chance, you should refer the matter to the supreme court, and they refused to do that. interestingly, they did it when people questioned whether we could have a national securities regulator. if you can do it for that, why we do not do it when you propose to make a major change to our house of parliament. >> some interesting things to come. >> i'm looking forward to it. >> after the speech, you are running off to see your new granddaughter. congratulations. >> that is the most important thing today. >> thanks very much. and congratulations to the senator with his new grandchild. just before we leave rosie, if
you are still there, hold that up again i want to let viewers know, focusing on your eyeball there. >> that is wonderful. >> that worked out well. [laughter] there it is. this is the speech from the throne. for those that are saying, open it up. "embargoed until delivered by the governor general." it is an arrangement from the government of today. and the media. they will give us an advance of these things, but really, until they are announced officially, we do not say what is in them. thank you for that, rosie. let's take a peek outside and have a look. the canadian flag flying high above the peace tower. no, that's not the peace tower. the east or west block of parliament hill. the main flag will change to the governor general standard as he arrives on parliament hill, along withro